|Fri May 21 2010 23:19:24|
eBay Blogger Reveals Corporate Priorities
By: Ina Steiner
eBay's corporate blogger Richard Brewer Hay tweeted this afternoon, "Just saw this sign at the top of the stairs at San Jose HQ: "eBay Marketplace Goals 2010."" Here are eBay's Top Priorities for its marketplace business:
- "Retail-like" trust levels by reducing BBEs and protecting buyers
- Enhance selection and value in CSA
- Deliver value across the site
- Scale B2C sellers and improve efficiency
- Defend C2C seller business
- Improve the eBay buyer experience
First, a translation of eBay's acronyms:
- Build our advertising business
BBEs = bad buying experiences
CSA = Clothing, Shoes and Accessories
B2C = Large sellers (businesses selling to consumers)
C2C = Small sellers (consumers selling to consumers)
It has been quite clear eBay wants to "scale B2C sellers" ever since we broke the news of eBay's Operation Catalog, the name we used to describe eBay's on-ramp for high-volume sellers listings, ultimately introduced under the name Large Merchant Services.
But counting on mega-sellers is a risky strategy. eBay got its first taste of such risk last year when it successfully courted Zappos only to have Amazon.com acquire the company. It happened again this week on a larger scale when Japanese firm Rakuten announced it was acquiring Buy.com, eBay's first diamond seller. eBay relies on Buy.com inventory to source a great deal of its Daily Deals promotions, and now it must deal with another entity that might have a different business strategy.
eBay is increasingly pushing shoppers to select sellers, for example, the eBay Bucks promotion described in today's news story in which eBay sends shoppers to just 22 sellers in six categories. Those large sellers include contact information on their Store pages (Street Moda even has a Skype button and a box for people to sign up for its newsletter). eBay is allowing large sellers to freely harvest shoppers they can market to directly, and those sellers can leave eBay any time.
Meanwhile, when eBay refers to its small-seller strategy, it uses the word "defend," not grow.
It's also not surprising that building up its advertising business is a priority. As an online ad publisher, eBay ran 7.4 billion display ad impressions in the first three months of 2002, number nine on comScore's list of Top 10 U.S. Online Display Ad Publishers (source: comScore Ad Metrix).
The sign at eBay's headquarters gives us an interesting peek into eBay's priority list - something to mull over for the weekend.